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Half of the Truth

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Q: I read where you say, “The good news is that even before you trust this deeper knowing, it has been working perfectly all along. The difference is that when you trust it, when you surrender to it, you don’t suffer anymore. When, instead, you pay attention to your ideas about how things should be or how you want things to happen, this innate wisdom still gets you where you need to be, but because you are so busy with your ideas about it, you suffer. The good news is that this innate wisdom is not something you add or something you do or something you need to master but who you are.” Does this mean that life is happening by itself through me as it desires, and I can do nothing to create the life I want or block life expressing through me?

A: The limitation of concepts and thoughts is that whenever we speak or write about something, we are only speaking part of the truth. I would even say that the best anyone has ever done is communicate half of the truth! This is true of everyone, even spiritual teachers. And so the quote you refer to offers some truth, but really only part of the truth. Perhaps the value of it is that it offers a part of the truth that is often overlooked or not even considered by most people.

The deepest truth is that there is an innate wisdom unfolding this life that always gets you where you need to go. It is also true that this innate wisdom moves through you as your desires and, even more importantly, as your deepest drives and motivations. It appears that the Mystery that is unfolding this life loves to play and create so much that it even gives you the power to choose and act as an apparent individual. So the ego, or false identity we form, makes choices and takes life and awareness in directions that sometimes cause problems. The ego wants to create what it wants regardless of what Being wants! There’s no mistake in all of this. The mystery loves the unpredictable ego that it has created! There is also a deeper movement in us of our essential selves that moves in harmony with the wisdom of Being and yet is still an apparent individual acting and choosing, only we are moving as essence and in alignment with Being’s wishes.

Sometimes we are moved by the ego’s desires and, at other times, we are moved by deeper drives coming from our essence. Paradoxically, we can even choose what is already happening. How we choose is not often completely one way or the other. There is quite a dance going on between the ego and essence, which allows Being to create unpredictability and surprise within itself. Maybe that’s the only way that something that is already infinite and eternal can create and play—by allowing something new and unpredictable to be created within itself.

Again, there is no final truth in anyone’s words. If you are enjoying creating and expressing through your desires, then go for it! You can also rest sometimes and explore what life is like when you surrender your doing or, even more simply, notice that life is unfolding beautifully even when you are just observing it. Surrender is not something we do really; it is more a result of the observation of the bigger truth that everything that happens is already a part of the intelligence of Being at work. This recognition naturally leads to a balancing of our tendency to overdo our doing, which is where our suffering lies.

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The Gift of Free Will

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Q: Thoughts and feelings are given to us, but where they originated can't be known. If anything changes, it's because we are changed. We don't change ourselves or make choices or have free will. The only thing we do is observe. We're not capable of doing anything else.

A: I do think you are correct that we don’t "think" most of our thoughts as much as we receive them like a radio receives the signal from the station. But it is also possible that whatever sends the signal of our thoughts also gives us the experience of individuality and free will in the same way. It comes from the same source, but perhaps that source loves the mystery and surprise it gets when it gives a part of itself free will to act in unpredictable ways.

So while that apparent choice and free will are ultimately a gift from something more mysterious, it still could be our relative experience that we have the free will to act and choose. It definitely would make for a more interesting illusion!

There is a fairy tale or story at the end of my free ebook, Beyond No Self, that offers one explanation of how the mystery could give its creations apparent free will and choice by creating copies or clones of itself to live these apparent lives as individuals. You can read the story here (scroll to the bottom of the page where the story is in italics).
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Defense Mechanism or Truth?

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Someone wrote me the following on Facebook:

Thank you so much for your thoughts, I connect with what I read and I was hoping you could help me understand the feeling of numbness I've been having. I have had many disappointments this past year and I lost my job but I don't feel anything, I have been numb for sometime and I can't figure out whether it is because I have reached a level of consciousness where I am in control of my thoughts or is it a self defense mechanism which is temporary? I get sad thoughts sometime for not having a job or anything that is mine but this thought is washed away by another thought that speaks: "You did not cause this, you are doing what you can to change things, what is the point anyways, I am so tired of fighting" followed by numbness.

And here is my response:

This is a good question. And really only you can tell if the numbness is a defense mechanism. The truth is whatever opens your Heart and awareness and quiets your mind. Does your Heart feel open when you are numb? Does your mind quiet down? If so you then can just rest in your Heart.

If the opposite is happening (your awareness contracts and your mind gets busy), that is a sign that it is not a movement into greater truth but something that is being avoided. This is not a bad thing. I often say thank God for all of our defense mechanisms. None of us would have survived this far without them!

But if it is a way of avoiding, then there also is the possibility of being curious about that. What is it like when you are numb? What are the sensations? Are they bad sensations or just sensations? What happens if you just shine your awareness on the numb feeling itself without trying to get rid of it or change it in anyway? Inquiring in this way can gradually uncover what is happening more fully. Again there is nothing wrong with a defense mechanism, but since it is happening, there is the possibility of finding out as much as you can about it.

I would also invite you to become very curious about exactly when the numbness arises. Does it come with the thought, "You did not cause this, You are doing what you can to change things." or does it come more with the thought, "What is the point anyways?" And you can check your other thoughts also. And especially notice what is happening in your Heart  when you are not thinking about your life at all, and just experiencing the moment as it is.

Again the truth is what opens or relaxes or softens your sense of being, your Heart. Each and every moment is a new opportunity to discover more about the truth. Even a contracted numb feeling is telling you something about the truth of your experience. When your Heart contracts it is working perfectly to tell you that your present moment thought, feeling or desire is not very true or important.

You can read much more about how the Heart tells you how true things are in the free download of part two of Living from the Heart.

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Nothing Personal: Seeing Beyond the Illusion of a Separate Self by Nirmala.

Nothing Personal leads you to the experience of your true nature and helps you explore its depth. Through exposition, questions and dialogues, it brings you to a place of realization of the Truth: you are the spacious Awareness in which everything appears.

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